Many people with allergies or intolerances may be able to add some foods back into their diet without any adverse reaction. However, many people find some foods they can’t eat without serious problems, such as bloating, gas, and pain in the gut area (the abdominal region). If you’re one of these people, it could be because you have an intolerance to sugar carbohydrates found in many foods, which may include but are not limited to the following items listed below, among others.
1. Fructose Intolerance
Symptoms of fructose intolerance include stomach pain, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea after consumption. People with fructose intolerance lack an enzyme necessary for metabolizing fructose and other sugars. If you have this condition and are unaware, your body will struggle to digest the sugars in foods like honey, apples, pears, watermelon, and certain processed foods. In turn, symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches can appear.
The best way to determine if you are intolerant is by keeping a food diary or charting what you eat over a week. A doctor can also do a blood test to check for any abnormalities. You can replace these fodmap foods with fructose-free alternatives like vegetables, fruits without skin, legumes, and grains without rye flour. Remember to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to obesity because it contains so much more fructose than regular sugar.
2. Lactose Intolerance
Lactase, an enzyme necessary for breaking down lactose, diminishes after weaning. The only treatment for lactose intolerance is avoiding dairy products containing lactose.
There are several alternatives that one can consume instead of milk. These include soy, almond, rice, and oat milk. Other sources of calcium are dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, beans like navy beans, pinto beans, and black beans, and seeds like sesame and sunflower seeds.
However, it’s crucial to determine your threshold level if you consume dairy milk. For example, if drinking half a cup of milk causes stomach discomfort but drinking 1/4 cup does not, try switching to smaller servings of dairy drinks so that you’re less likely to ingest too much lactose at once. Nevertheless, lactose intolerance is more common than many think, affecting up to three out of four individuals worldwide.
3. Sorbitol Intolerance
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol found naturally in some fruits and berries, such as apples, cherries, and pears. The ingredient also finds its application as a sweetener. People with sorbitol intolerance may experience stomach aches and diarrhea when they consume foods that contain sorbitol for too long or at higher doses. The best way to avoid these symptoms of intolerance is by avoiding food products containing sorbitol altogether.
The body metabolizes sorbitol came way as fructose. Hence, consuming sorbitol sugar alcohol will only worsen the problem for people with fructose intolerance. You should always read the ingredients list before buying any food product if you are concerned about intolerances to sorbitol or other ingredients.
4. Mannitol Intolerance
A Mannitol Intolerance is due to the body’s inability to process mannitol. Though it may be difficult for some people, avoiding these sugar carbohydrates can relieve many. Mannitol is a polyol belonging to the sugar alcohol family of carbohydrates found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and dairy products.
Consuming too much of this carbohydrate can lead to an intolerance that leads to digestive distress or other side effects such as hives or swelling of your face or tongue. The small intestines usually cannot process excess amounts of this sugar alcohol (mannitol), a step necessary in producing nutrients for the body.
5. Histamine Intolerance
For some people, intolerance to foods that contain histamine can cause symptoms like headaches, heartburn, and skin irritations. Some familiar food sources for high histamine levels are alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and champagne.
Other examples include fermented dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, cheese, vinegar-based salad dressings, fresh tomatoes, and tomato sauces. People with histamine intolerance should also avoid red meat, including beef, pork, and lamb because it contains high levels of tyramine, which also causes inflammation. Dealing with histamine intolerance may require dietary changes by reducing high histamine foods and alcohol intake.
Luckily, there are many ways to eat and be healthy with this condition. It is best to have a diet rich in whole foods, lean protein, and nutritious fats. Eating more foods from plant sources may also help lower the sugar and carbohydrates in your diet. Your body will feel better, both physically and mentally! Taking note of low-FODMAP recipes can also help, which are suitable for people who suffer from digestive problems such as bloating or gas due to high intake of sugars in their diets. In general, when you change your diet, you need to do it gradually so that you don’t experience any unpleasant side effects like headaches or extreme fatigue.